Goa Lokayukta Justice (retd.) P.K.Misra is examining if the documents submitted by activist lawyer Aires Rodrigues pertaining to the alleged disproportionate assets accumulated by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant could be taken as a suo motu complaint, sources in the Lokayukta Secretariat confirmed to The Hindu on Wednesday.Mr. Rodrigues on Monday had placed before the Lokayukta a copy of the documents obtained by him from the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act pertaining to the February 20, 2017 complaint filed by Sudip Tamhankar, a local RTI activist against then MLA Pramod Sawant. Mr. Sawant was the Chairman of the State-owned Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC), and the complaint alleged that he had acquired disproportionate assets, accusing him of cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy.Sources in the Lokayukta Secretariat on the condition of anonymity said that the complaint by Mr. Rodrigues is not in the appropriate form but just forwarded all the documents obtained by Mr. Tamhankar through RTI. As the said document cannot be taken as a complaint, the Lokayukta is examining the documents to see if it could be taken up as a suo motu case. Mr. Rodrigues, in his letter, drew the attention of the Lokayukta that a mere perusal of the noting sheets processing the complaint against Mr. Sawant demonstrates that the ACB — which has been hounding Opposition politicians — had on directions of the then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar shielded Mr. Sawant from a probe.Former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on 16th June 2018, while he was ailing, gave his consent to close the complaint without conducting a probe.In that documented complaint, Mr. Sawant was accused of buying properties in the name of a partnership firm M/s Jay Ganesh Developers and Associates set up by him in 2014 as a front with Ranjit Rohidas Mangaonkar, Rupesh Narayan Thanekar, and Rajesh Manohar Shirodkar as the other three partners.In the complaint, the ACB was given details of 24 sale deeds executed within a span two years by Pramod Sawant’s partnership firm at the office of the Sub-Registrar in Bicholim in North Goa.Amongst the properties purchased by Pramod Sawant’s partnership firm was land measuring 16,480 sq.m. in Bordem at Bicholim for ₹1.31 crore and another 19,989 sq.m. also at Bordem for an amount of ₹1.23 crore.
Many sections of the people, including students and women, joined the campaign in Manipur demanding the protection of Manipur’s territory, against the backdrop of the understanding the Centre had reached with some Naga bodies, which held peace talks for the last 22 years. Students from most of the districts came out of their classes on Friday, squatted on busy roads and formed human chains, thereby hindering free flow of traffic.They raised slogans that Manipur territory cannot be compromised and diluted. Women activists and student leaders told The Hindu that Manipur is a State with 2,000 years of written history. M. Keinatombi, a woman activist said, “That Manipur had been an independent kingdom is established by the international treaties the State had signed with some foreign countries. Manipur had its Assembly and elected MLAs. King Budhachandra who was a titular head was summoned in Shillong, now capital of Meghalaya, in September 1949 and he signed the merger agreement under duress after keeping him under house arrest”. He had signed the merger agreement on September 21, 1949 though it was officially made public on October 15, 1949 to synchronise with that of Tripura, a princely State in the Northeast which was merged with independent India. However eminent scholars and other intellectuals in a public convention were of the unanimous view that the merger agreement with Manipur is “null and void” since the State Assembly never authorised the titular king to sign the agreement.”Women who take out torchlight procession every day say that they shall not rest till the details of the Naga agreement are put in public domain.After snapping ties on Thursday with the Manipur government, the Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), formed by five civil society organisations quarter-backing the agitations, exhorted the people to launch various campaigns near the houses of the 60 MLAs and four MPs who are allegedly shirking their accountability to the people on this burning issue.Sunil Karam, coordinator of the COCOMI says, “Though the Chief Minister N. Biren had assured the leaders of the civil organisations to summon an emergency session of the Manipur Assembly it is now clear that there will be no session to take a resolution on the Naga agreement. On the other hand, Biren says he will be first to resign or to sacrifice his life if Manipur’s interest and territory are compromised. However some leaders point out that it will be immaterial if Biren resigns or takes the extreme step once the Naga agreement is inked.”Earlier another BJP Cabinet Minister. T. Shyamkumar said he will commit suicide if Manipur’s territory is compromised.However, women activists said that no purpose will be served by their “sacrifices” after the inordinate delay. Women vigilantes say that if there is nothing objectionable in the Naga agreement it should have been kept in the public domain. They further say that it is fearsome why the government is transporting security personnel in trucks, special aircrafts and helicopters to Manipur ahead of the public announcement of the details of the Naga agreement.Police said though they are outnumbered by students, women vigilantes and other activists in the day-and-night agitations, the additional forces from Tripura and other States have not been deployed in the trouble-prone areas yet.
Wedding bands glinted under the Venetian sun on the hands of George Clooney and his new bride, Amal Alamuddin, as the heartthrob actor and the human rights lawyer emerged Sunday from the luxury hotel where they were married a day earlier.The groom, in a smart light gray suit, sported a simple ring on his left hand. His wife, in a flouncy white short dress with pastel-colored appliques resembling flower blossoms, wore a thin band studded with what appeared to be roundish diamonds. The newlyweds shaded their eyes from the afternoon sunlight with dark glasses.George Clooney married human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin on Saturday in Venice. AP PhotoThey hopped into a waiting water taxi and, with Clooney putting his arm around her frequently, made their way down the Grand Canal to another waterside hotel where many of their guests were staying. Gondoliers steered out of their way.Tourists and Venetians cheered when Clooney waved and Alamuddin smiled broadly.The 53-year-old actor, who had vowed he’d never wed again, and the 36-year-old London-based lawyer, were married with Hollywood stars and family among guests.George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin, cruise the Grand Canal after leaving the Aman luxury Hotel in Venice. AP PhotoCelebrity-watching will last at least another day in Venice. City officials have announced the closure on Monday of a stretch of pedestrian walkway along the Grand Canal near the 16th-century Cavalli Palace, so the couple can have a civil marriage ceremony there. The palace is right across from the Aman hotel where the couple wed on Saturday evening.George Clooney marries Amal Alamuddin in Venice | When Clooney, Alamuddin enjoyed private party before wedding The marriage is the first for the bride and the second for Clooney, who had been one of the world’s most sought-after bachelors since 1993, following a four-year marriage to actress Talia Balsam.advertisementThe bride left her native Lebanon during its civil war and was raised in the United Kingdom. The Oxford-University-educated Alamuddin met Clooney, who is involved in many political causes, through her work.Venice closes down Grand Canal access for Clooney’s wedding | Pics: George Clooney and his saga of affairs